Child custody cases can be emotionally charged and complex, and when they unfold in Texas courts, it's essential to understand the process, avoid common pitfalls, and prioritize your children's well-being. At Coldwell Bowes, we are committed to helping parents navigate this challenging terrain with compassion and expertise. In this blog post, we'll explore the child custody process in Texas, provide essential do's and don'ts, and share valuable insights on how parents can put their children's needs first during this critical time.
Understanding the Child Custody Process in Texas
Child custody cases in Texas may vary by county, but they typically follow these key steps:
- Filing a Suit: The process starts with filing a suit for child custody. This can be done independently or as part of a divorce proceeding.
- Temporary Orders: Temporary orders may be issued to establish custody arrangements until a final order is reached. Temporary Orders typically occur within a relatively short time frame after the filing of a suit.
- Mediation: In many cases, mediation is required to help parents reach a custody agreement outside of court.
- Court Hearing: If an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, a Final Trial will be scheduled.
- Final Orders: The court will issue final orders that determine custody, rights and duties, possession and access schedules, child support, and other issues that a court would determine to be in the children’s best interests,
The Do's and Don'ts of Child Custody Cases in Texas
- Maintain Open Communication: Foster open and respectful communication with your co-parent to reach agreements that prioritize your child's needs.
- Follow Court Orders: Always adhere to court orders, including visitation schedules and child support payments.
- Keep Records: Document all interactions and agreements with your co-parent, which can be helpful in case of disputes.
- Seek Legal Counsel: Consult an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.
- Use Your Child as a Pawn: Avoid involving your child in disputes or using them as leverage against your co-parent.
- Violate Court Orders: Refrain from ignoring or violating court orders, as this can result in legal consequences.
- Badmouth Your Co-Parent: Avoid speaking negatively about your co-parent in front of your child, as it can harm their emotional well-being. In addition, do not allow someone else to badmouth your co-parent in the presence of the children.
Putting Your Children First
During a child custody case in Texas, it's crucial to prioritize your children's needs. Consistency is key to creating a stable and consistent environment for your child, including a routine possession and access schedule. It’s also important to encourage a healthy relationship between your child and their other parent (unless this puts the child in any form of danger), as this can be essential for their emotional development. As a general rule, both parents should focus on their child’s well-being. Make decisions that benefit your child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs.
Navigating child custody cases in Texas requires patience, understanding, and legal expertise. At Coldwell Bowes, we are dedicated to helping parents put their children first during this challenging process. By understanding the child custody process, adhering to best practices, and always prioritizing your child's well-being, you can achieve a custody arrangement that provides stability and support for your children's future.
If you need legal guidance and support during a child custody case, don't hesitate to reach out to our experienced family law attorneys. Your children's best interests are our top priority.